University Utrecht library city centre phase 1

Utrecht | Wittevrouwenstraat

2009

The fundamental question hidden in the instructions for the renovation project at Wittevrouwenstraat is, how the design can contribute to the required identity and amenity value of the Faculteit der Letteren [Faculty of Arts] in the Driftcluster and in particular the Letterenbibliotheek [University Library]. The main objective of the development of the Driftcluster with the library as its vibrant heart is to realise a natural meeting place of education and research, of employees and students, of university and city. Accessible, transparent, inviting, representative and calming are some of the keywords that characterise the faculty’s image. Within the faculty, the University Library fulfils a central and twofold purpose. On the one hand, the library possesses a collection of accumulated knowledge. On the other, the library functions as a scientific laboratory for education and research. In concrete terms this means that scientific material and its user are complementary: the design invites to engage in the required interaction, forms an attractive working environment that invites study, is clearly laid out and transparent, offers room to meet and to make informal contact. The series of buildings embraces a spacious courtyard with ample space for contemplation, but also for activities. The most eye-catching element is the ‘Grande Galerie’ where the central entrance, the entrance to the restaurant and the entrance to the central library are located. The central entrance can be accessed from the Drift, on which the other educational buildings are also situated.

nominated by the BNA as Building of the Year 2010
Jaarboek of Architectuur 2009-2010 [Yearbook of Architecture 2009-2010]
winner of the tender for the Utrecht University Library in cooperation with DHV 2005

Client

Utrecht University

Consultants

DHV, HE Adviseurs, LBP

Contractor

Winters Bouw en Ontwikkeling